AUSTRALIA OKS $27 MILLION FOR DESTITUTE NAURU

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Funds follow closing of detention center

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 31, 2008) – Nauru’s foreign minister, Dr Kieren Keke, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith which governs Australia’s development assistance to Nauru.

In the 2008-09 financial year, Australia will provide up to 27 million US dollars in Official Development Assistance to Nauru.

The assistance supports health, education, economic and financial management and public sector capacity-building, including policing assistance.

Australia says this represents the government’s commitment to help Nauru restore essential infrastructure and services and to improve economic self-sufficiency.

The deal also takes into account the closure in March of Australia’s Offshore Processing Centre on Nauru set up in 2001.

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